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  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The Sahel and Sahara region has witnessed, in recent years, the emergence of a number of terrorist groups that adopt extremist ideologies, but with- out engaging with major cross-border terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda despite developing strong ties with them. The situation prompted views that these new groups are undeclared branches of the mother organization due, on the grounds that their ideology is, to a large extent, identical to that embraced by al-Qaeda. Moreover, these new groups show support to al-Qaeda’s terror attacks, which raises questions about the reasons why there are such groups that operate under various names and are, at the same time, keen to set themselves aside from al-Qaeda.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Razumkov Centre
  • Abstract: The next presidential election in Ukraine is set for 31 March 2019. The parliamentary election to the 9th Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will take place on 27 October 2019. According to the latest survey conducted in October 2017, the following parties would be elected to the Parliament: «Petro Poroshenko Bloc «Solidarity» (13.6%), «Batkivshchyna» (10%), «Civic Position» party (8.9%), «Opposition Bloc» party (8.6%), «For Life» party (6.8%), the Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko (6.5%), «Self Help» Union (5.9%). Others would not be able to cross the 5% threshold.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Razumkov Centre
  • Abstract: Before the bill “On the peculiarities of state policy on the restoration of Ukraine’s state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts” is adopted, it needs some additional work.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Razumkov Centre
  • Abstract: ANTI-CORRUPTION COURT: TO EXECUTE IMPOSSIBLE TO PARDON determined by the level of people’s awareness, candidates’ hidden motives. Society must ask questions: who is the candidate, what does he seek, does he represent a particular person, or is he an independent law-maker? We have to ask ourselves as well. Because after the election campaign of 2014, many new deputies emerged, but they did not turn out to be who they positioned themselves as. The issue of the quality of parliamentarism is a deep one, it cannot be associated with a certain law, – it is connected with political culture that needs to be developed. Full text Kharkiv oblast, and Svatove in Luhansk oblast in 2015. This year, attention of the entire country was drawn to the fires in Balaklia, Kharkiv oblast in late March, and now – the one not far from Kalynivka, Vinnytsia oblast. situation, where the corruption search campaign across all levels of the government triad has brought Ukraine to the top of corrupt states list, and the judiciary is consistently and deliberately deprived of the lion’s share of public trust, the creation of a specialised anti-corruption court will bring the fight against corruption into a practical stage. Full text The court system is largely disoriented and demoralised. It is hard to predict the results of its next modernisation in the sense of its ability to bring all of its segments together to properly administer fair justice. Today, the expert and political community is awaiting the «finalising» of assembly of the new Supreme Court and the determination of prospects for creating the anti-corruption court, especially, methods and ways this issue is to be solved.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Razumkov Centre
  • Abstract: In Ukraine, every President that comes to power aspires to change the Constitution of Ukraine, however, even this Constitution has hardly ever been abided by in the 20 years. Our civil society is still underdeveloped. We still experience only occasional surges – one Maidan, then another one, where the civil society shows itself. We still have not reached the point where civil society controls the government.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Razumkov Centre
  • Abstract: The inability of the Constitutional Court to choose the new Chairman of theCCU in a closed meeting held recently is just the outside sign of existing problems accumulated inside and around this important state institution.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Razumkov Centre
  • Abstract: The Constitutional Commission created in early March 2015 by President Petro Poroshenko’s Decree has hardly stopped it work, as new rumours of yet another Constitutional change have started spreading inside Ukrainian information space and political environment. Citizens cannot make up their mind about the necessity of amending the Basic Law, as they are not aware of their fundamental constitutional rights. Razumkov Centre’s survey results in 2015 show that only 10% of Ukrainians are familiar with the text of the Constitution, while 40% – have never laid eyes on the Basic Law
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Razumkov Centre
  • Abstract: National Security and Defence Council decision to stop the movement of goods across the line of demarcation and transport connection with ORDLO is a mechanism of bringing down the intensity of tension in the society, which developed due to the blockade of railway tracks in Donbas
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Berry
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Over 200 years ago, one of our founding fathers Benjamin Franklin urged us to innovate, with the warning: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” One of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was not only a talented statesman, he was an inventor and tinkerer extraordinaire. Innovation lies at the very heart of what it means to be an American. From the beginning, our country was a grand experiment. We believed then—and now—that freedom plus hard work equals progress. Innovation, invention, and creativity help turn progress into success.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Global Focus
  • Author: Tatyana Alekseeva
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Rethinking Russia
  • Abstract: The International Primakov Readings Forum took place November 29-30, 2016, in commemoration of Yevgeny Primakov. The meeting was organized by the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO led by Alexander Dynkin) and was backed by the World Trade Center, the Russian Science Foundation, the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, and the University of Pennsylvania. In his address to the Forum, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin argued that Primakov had succeeded in predicting the events unfolding in today’s world, especially in the Middle East. As the Head of State put it, “Actually, I was always taking heed of Primakov’s assessments, as he was a wise and astute diplomat. I trusted him and asked to accomplish responsible and sensitive missions rather than ordered him”. Besides, the Primakov Readings Conference brought together Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Chair of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, and President’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov who delivered an opening speech. The Forum was also attended by most leading experts on international relations. The Rethinking Russia Think Tank presents the comment of Tatyana Alekseeva, a participant of the Primakov Readings Forum.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Global Focus
  • Author: Bryan MacDonald
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Rethinking Russia
  • Abstract: At the start of 1917, rumours reached London that something was stirring in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg). As a result, the concerned Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, urgently dispatched Lord Milner, a diplomat of some repute, to the Russian capital. His Lordship visited the Tsar and spoke to ministers and members of the Duma, who informed him that enemies of the state were spreading groundless yarns. Sadly, being a creature of his class, Milner believed that only the elites mattered so he neglected to consult any of the general public. Thus, cocooned in his bubble, the peer reported to London that there was nothing the government could not handle and no need to expect no major changes. However, the same British travelling party also included Lloyd George’s private secretary Philip Kerr. A little more clued in, Kerr walked the streets and interviewed the plain folk. Armed with their predictions, he sent a telegram to Downing Street which asserted that Russia was on the verge of an unstoppable revolution. As it happens, the man who stepped out of the comfort zone was right because Nikolai II was shorn of his crown before the British delegation made it home. We know this story because many years later the ‘Welsh Wizard,’ Lloyd George, revealed the details to Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador to London. And almost a hundred years later, it is a salutary lesson in the dangers of the establishment refusing to acknowledge ordinary people’s concerns when evaluating the causes of political upheaval.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Global Focus
  • Author: Jeremy Shapiro
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The transatlantic relationship is likely to face difficult challenges whatever the result of the US election. If Trump wins he will launch a revolutionary presidency — pulling back from NATO and other security guarantees, undermining key parts of the global free trade regime and building closer relations with strong-man leaders than allies. Even if Hillary is elected the transatlantic relationship could still face difficult albeit more everyday challenges. Her poor relations with Moscow, exacerbated by gender issues, could threaten transatlantic unity on Russia. Europe would be foolish not to learn lessons from the experience of Trump’s candidacy. Trump represents only an extreme version of a growing feeling in the United States that, in a time of relative decline, the country is getting a raw deal from its allies. The EU should not be complacent in assuming that the transatlantic relationship will continue as it is and should begin to take more responsibility for its own defence and build resilience against a potentially more self-interested US.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Scott Doran
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, United States House of Representatives
  • Topic: International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: In 2012 CESS conducted a range of activities in Turkey in the framework of the “Good Governance of the Security Sector in Turkey” programme: In March we organised a conference and a follow-up training course in Ankara on Financial Accountability and Budgetary Transparency of the Security Sector. During these events we discussed the main procedures in reviewing defence budgets and particular attention was dedicated to the role of the Court of Accounts. It became clear during the proceedings of both events that despite the fact that changes have been made for the better in Turkey with regard to financial oversight of the security sector, most of these changes unfortunately are only made on paper and are still not put into practice. The auditing process clearly lacks key mechanisms that would make the military more accountable. Therefore the Court of Accounts still has no real leverage over the military in terms of auditing defence spending.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: 30 August is Victory Day in Turkey, a national holiday celebrated with military parades and jet fighters painting the sky red and white, the colours of the Turkish flag. Victory Day commemorates the final battle in Turkey’s War of Independence. It glorifies the army and the new republic created on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. On Victory Day, all promotions of officers are announced, and the students of military schools celebrate their graduation. Besides, the Chief of Turkish General Staff used to receive the congratulations of high state officials. However on 30 August 2011, things were a bit different.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: Natalia Gherman is Moldova’s deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator with the EU. CESS spoke to her in Chis¸ina˘u during the second in a series of UNDP workshops on EU negotiations organised by CESS and its partners. Ms Gherman had just returned from a visit to The Hague and Berlin where she spoke to her colleagues about the visa liberalisation regime, one of the main priorities for Moldova in its relations with the EU.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: Central Asia presents a broad spectrum of security challenges. These range from religious terrorism, organised crime and simmering ethnic quarrels to endemic corruption, environmental decline and a disintegrating infrastructure. Besides, the danger of instability is heightened by a lurking receptiveness to religious extremism among returned migrants.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: On 12 May we received the news that David Greenwood had passed away. It was expected in a way, but still it came as a shock. David had been suffering from a disease one can fight for some time, but never beat. Although at the end he was very weak and never left home anymore, David was not supposed to leave Margaret and all of us so soon.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: In the second half of 2007 we decided to take the Starlink programme further east and got in touch with the Netherlands Embassy in Astana to investigate possibilities in Kazakhstan. During a fact-finding mission in November 2007 we found that there was a clear need to develop capacity for democratic governance in the security sector of Kazakhstan. The country is engaged in a process of reform that, if successful, will improve oversight of the security agencies, enable the country to fulfil the commitments it undertook in its NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan of 2006, and enhance Kazakhstan’s standing at the OSCE. Kazakhstan will hold the presidency of the OSCE in 2010. It is obvious that Kazakhstan has put in place several of the laws and institutions required for democratic oversight of the security sector, and others are likely to follow. However, Kazakhstan still has some way to go to foster a culture of accountability. Here Starlink training courses will be helpful. The Starlink programme has been included in Kazakhstan’s Individual Partnership Action Plan.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: CESS is deeply involved in developing and delivering training courses for Security Sector Reform (SSR). In this issue, we will report on our Starlink programme for training development, which has completed its activities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Starlink is now being introduced in Kazakhstan, and plans are underway to take it to the Western Balkans. Starlink is supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the OSCE. We will also discuss the work CESS has been doing to teach the OECD DAC approach to SSR. In a thought-provoking commentary article Kars de Bruynequestions the conventional intepretation of the spring 2007 crisis in Turkey.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: After fact-finding missions to Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2006, we began running Starlink training courses on democratic governance in the security sector in those countries in February 2007. The first was in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and our partner was Dr Leila Aliyeva. We took the opportunity to officially open the Starlink programme with a high-level meeting, after which we ran the first training event. Senior representatives of various ministries and members of parliament participated in the high-level meeting, as well as the OSCE presence in Azerbaijan. The interest of the media was lively and spawned several newspaper articles and bulletins on national television. The first Starlink course on defence took place on the following days with an enthusiastic, pro-active and diverse group of participants.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: This issue of Security Matters is mostly devoted to Turkey. It carries three articles that were presented as papers at a workshop on Turkey and the European Security and Defence Policy, held in Istanbul on 12-13 June 2006 and organised by CESS in cooperation with the Istanbul Policy Center at Sabanci University. In late 2006, our programme on Governance and the Military in Turkey came to an end, and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs approved the funding for a new CESS programme, called ‘Reforms in Turkish Civil-Military Relations: Measuring Progress and Building Capacities’. As before, IPC will be our main Turkish partner. Despite the difficult political climate, the Netherlands government wants to continue to provide constructive support for democratic reforms in Turkey. These are important for Turkey, for Europe, and for the successful integration of Turkey into the European Union.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: In the Starlink programme, sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CESS is developing training courses on democratic governance in the security sector. These are tried out in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, and come in three types. One focuses on the defence sector, another on law enforcement, and the third on intelligence
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus